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tv   [untitled]    April 30, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm PDT

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cumulative impact analysis. supervisor kim: so we don't take into consideration existing physical structures in determining whether there is a cumulative impact from this project? >> is part of the existing environment, so they established the baseline including cumulative impact. >> what is challenging framingham home and not having a standard for how we evaluate what would happen, regardless of whether this project had suggested a 10,000, 5000, 700, or 100 boxes, we should be evaluating a common standard regardless of the number. i am having trouble understanding why we are having trouble deciding what would be a basis of impact and what wouldn't. it wouldn't have an impact of
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5000. we have other infrastructure, pedestrians may see more than one at a time. we want more than one every four blocks? there is some sort of basis. >> our analysis is that the specific project has proposed, for our purposes, we have ululated the specific nature of this project with specific
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attributes. for our purposes of the environmental review, it was not necessary to establish a specific threshold. as far as the criteria, the consideration of significant effects look at the aesthetic impact. i was illustrating how we conducted the analysis with the the question i received previously about how pedestrian experience with you these cabinets.
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there is no established rigorous threshold. it can be challenging when conducting an environmental review. supervisor kim: i do not have a follow-up question at this time. supervisor elsbernd: i wanted to follow up on one of the points. tens of thousands of these boxes are out there. i think with the clearly illustrates is the notion that there are unusual circumstances that should negate this categorical exemption. that answer was that of the water. tens of thousands does not strike me as unusual. all we have got left is cumulative impact. just to follow up a little bit on the outline, you also have
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the notion that 726 might not be right, but let's do reverse logic. if we are going to say that 726 necessitated, what about 300? you can't have it both ways. that is why it is absolutely inappropriate to follow the guidance given to us by planning. the project description as it is, the hypothetical was that you will fall about a rabbit hole. you're going to screw yourselves up. let's focus on the project in front of us. if we want to look at the other parts and whether or not the cumulative impact is there is fine. that will lead is the path we don't want to go. [applause] supervisor cohen: >> i
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understand that the cabinet's, the new ones will not be under 300 feet. is there a cap on how many we place in each respective district? the reason i am asking, and the plan, i did not see it. headed out of the analysis reflect this, but how to prevent or share my concerns for an over proliferation of boxes coming into the southeast part of the city? historically known as the industrial part of the city, how can you help me understand that? o>> i am not aware of any limitations of the placement of the cabinet's.
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with regard to historical resources and historical district. your question of how my your concerns regarding and over proliferation of these within your area how best to be addressed, i don't know that i can answer that question. perhaps they can respond to how those concerns might be taken into consideration. it focuses on if there is a significant environmental effects. if there are concerns about that specifically, it could be something that we could take into account. supervisor cohen: in seems to me that it will have a factor into cumulative impact.
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>> in terms of cumulative impact, i think just to clarify some terminology, concerns about cumulative effects, the 726, the impact of the project as a whole, a think that might be what you're referring to here. there is also discussion of the proposed cabinet together with any other similar type project. i'm answering your question with regard to the 726 cabinets. i don't have a number within the given district. but in general, they would be widely dispersed. we did not find there would be a significant environmental effect. that does not mean that there would not be concerns that there might be raised about the effects of these in general that
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would be of concern to you. supervisor mirkarimi: this conversation is deja vu. it was about to a half years ago that i believe we have before us. there were only a few of us at the time. if i am not mistaken or am recalling correctly what had happened, at&t decided to pull back and withdrew their particular proposal to us. issues that were prominent in the discussion were cumulative impact and historical district. a number of us made the very strong point about those particular issues, among those leading to be understood through of the city and county of san francisco, the neighborhoods
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that had been advocating for the boxes or who had been opposed or concerned but in different. what i would like to know, what has changed since that discussion 2.5 years ago. i would like to know that in those questions and concerns of cumulative impact, what has changed? it could have been conducted in those years, and what we have not been able to learn from that particularl exercise. let us know if anyone can speak to this.
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>> the previous proposal for the project there is a consideration of the appeal. because there was no project for considering any further, the matter for our purposes, they did not do any further environmental review. there was no requirement for the environmental impact report. the forward three years later, we conducted our environmental analysis and determined that he categorial exemption was appropriate as to what happened
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in that in turn and why the project was changed. >> i look forward to the presentation and their response. in your re-evaluation [unintelligible] allow me a moment to think about that. supervisor elsbernd: as one of the three, let's not forget 98% was on the issue of historical districts. supervisor mirkarimi: we're
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reflective of what happened three years ago. there is the summation of the projects changes. number of cabinets, by 124, and there is the technical change in terms of power supply. the radius of the project, the cabinet's.
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other than historic resources, i think our analysis was fundamentally the same. the characterization of the project has the specific nuances of the analysis of this reflected a change [unintelligible] supervisor mirkarimi: you answered the corpus of what i was asking. it was an unresolved issue. at&t withdrew. there was no difference in ceqa law. it's an arbitrary question of
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what we may decide here as cumulative. >> supervisor mirkarimi, i would defer any legal questions to the city attorney. for our purposes, the analysis is fundamentally the same. supervisor mirkarimi: it is different, is it not? a question to the city attorney, when was the last time that there was something before the board of supervisors that we had in favor of cumulative impact. >> i will make an attempt to answer your question, hetbut in
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essence, and the appeal that comes before the board of supervisors, the planning department did a more substantive analysis for medicated declaration. certainly in all of those instances, the planning department has looked at this issue of cumulative impact. any decisions that this board has made to uphold the ceqa determinations have -- [unintelligible] in terms of the cumulative impact relating to the particular project and similarly situated projects in the vicinity if they are going on at the same time. supervisor mirkarimi: in recent memory, i know this might be of more interest to someone else.
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of all the appeals that have taken place here and the hours we have sat through, the question of cumulative impact has been at least attempted. i do not recall any time that we have ever ruled in favor of cumulative impact. that is anecdotal, but would you say that that would be almost as safe? >> i don't think i can answer that question. i have been absent for a lot of the appeals. supervisor elsbernd: i keep gong ing on -- you're trying to compare the legal analysis today to the 13 or four years ago. -- one three or four years ago. there is also language in ceqa that says you can't apply
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categorical exemption. that was the thrust of the discussion. there is a big distinguishing characteristic right there between this hearing and that last hearing. and the big distinguishing mark that should be applied today. supervisor cohen: planning staff. planning staff. i have a question for you, miss gibson. hi. is it common to work on projects that have not described a specific location? >> lisa gibson at the planning department. is a common thread your project and specific elements have not been defined or certain locations have not been defined? i can tell you is not. -- it is not an exceptional
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circumstance. the intent of ceqa is that the environmental review will occur early enough in the process, those can be addressed through mitigation measures and consideration of alternatives. it is really difficult to change course. it is a requirement that the review occur before and the entitlements are issued. -- any entitlements are issued. if we don't know the details, it was to clarify the misunderstanding.
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it was prevented by some of the speakers that the project -- presented by some of the speakers that the project is the exclusive replacement and the cabinets of the public right of way. the project proposed, we evaluated the placement of the right of way. because of the requirements, and there could be locating these in the private properties. it requires that the applicant consider placement of the facilities on private property so that could occur. that is something that we don't know specifically whether it would be in the public right away or not. we made a worst case assumption that it would be in the public right of way.
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>> how do we know that the parameters that the sponsor laid out of the number of boxes that would be placed -- be met? how do we know that the parameters that the sponsor has indicated in the proposal, how do we know that they will be mad? -- met? is there mlu? some contract that has been assigned? >> the planning department is not in the business of enforcing the project in every aspect as it moves through the entitlement process. we plie a reasonable analysis to make sure this passes the first
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blush test and then we conduct our analysis. our secret determination stands for the project as we define it. other city agencies that are responsible for approving the project have to consider whether there was secret review done and they are required to look for it. if it is different, there has to be a revisiting if there is a change in the analysis that we need to revisit our review. supervisor mirkarimi: i agree with the supervisor in reflection of the 2.5 years ago, slightly different discussion of what the appeal was then and potentially what it is now and what has unfolded since then. but remains the same is a historical fact and this is true
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for every municipality in the state of california and i'm guessing and that will be interesting if we could get some corroboration. and even for san francisco, it has been a very high bar for us to challenge ceqa on the question of cumulative impact. this has taken six years to get any reform, reform on reform on level of service, which we incity debated back in 2005. with that, i doubt we are positioned very well to understand how we would insert the question of cumulative impact on ceqa and this would cat lies that potential atlantay, otherwise we default back to our original habit and that is to never challenge. >> by the way, you still have three minutes on your
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presentation if you wish to use it and have any final closing comments. >> i believe the presentation has been covered. in the interest of time, i will conclude. first, i would like to correct one statement that was incorrect during the speaker testimony. one of the speakers stated that the department's categorical exemption has a significant impact with regard to historic resources and that is not the case. if you have any questions, i would be happy to answer them. otherwise, after listening to this very active and detailed discussion, we still continue to find that the project is exempt and we recommend that the board of supervisors deny the appeal and uphold the categorical exemption. >> any other questions? why don't we hear from the
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project sponsor, representatives from at&t. up to 10 minutes for presentation. and good evening president chu and president of the board. i'm president of at&t california. i represent a company who has been operating continuously in san francisco for 130 years. i'm proud resident. my office is here. my partner and i live here and kids go to school here. i will be passing the baton to my team as to why the planning department should be afffirmed but let me provide a few brief thoughts. i want to invest in san francisco. if the decision of the planning department is afffirmed, i plan to spend upwards to $75 million hiring skilled union labor to put more cables in the ground,
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building a high-speed broadband network based on the standard called i.p. this is the largest single upgrade to the san francisco local network in more than a century. we call this new fiber optic network uverse bringing more reliable phone connections using fiber, significantly faster broadband speed, wifi hot spots and top video service in the nation according to j.d. powers. san francisco has the highest percentage of people working from home more than new york and boston. residents have come to expect easy access to the best technology to do their jobs. our network will provide the next generation of i.p.-based technologies that san francisco needs to provide if it wants to continue to attract the best and the brightest in the region.
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residents up and down the state in more than 260 different cities like berkeley, los angeles, south san francisco, oakland and bailey city have access to this faster internet service, more reliable phone lines in case of emergency and choice to traditional cable. they are seeing the benefits of a growing, unionized workforce in their cities as well as substantial payment of franchise fees to their city treasuries. i would like my hometown to have the same choices and benefits. someone has asked me when is it coming to san francisco? my team has met with 106, yes, 106 neighborhood or community groups. my instructions have been simple. work collaboratively with the community to make this upgrade a reality. we listened, we educated and we
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pledged to continue our dialogue throughout the course of our three-year build. the cornerstone of our outreach while working with neighborhoods and actually seeking their guidance. the after firmation would not change that directive. this is the first step of the long site permitting process. each cabinet will go through its own permit review and my teams will continue to work with our neighborhoods on placement. we will overcommunicate, as we have done, and provide notice beyond what city law requires. this is quite, frankly how san francisco should want its citizens to act and i expect nothing less from my team. our process has been simple. we provide an overview of the network upgrade and we answer questions. and then most importantly, we ask residents to lead us on a tour of their neighborhood.
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through these tours and through literally thousands of follow-up conversations and communications over the past 15 months, we have identified mutually agreeable locations for most of our cabinets throughout the city. i am proud of this col brative process. i appreciate the opportunity to speak this evening and i will be here to answer any questions you might have. and i hand it off to mark blakeman. >> good evening, supervisors. i'm the regional vice president of external affairs. you have heard a lot today about our plans to upgrade our network as ken just alluded to and i wanted to hit on a couple of key points. we have spent the last many months meeting with your constituents, neighborhood groups, merchants, condo associations all across the city with an outreach and wanting to
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work insighting new pieces of infrastructure in the city. a couple of questions have come up that i wanted to address specifically. one about undergrounding. there have been questions about whether we can underground and what the technological feasibility of doing so is and some of the technologies you have heard about today. our equipment is sensitive computer equipment. if you have ever been in a computer server room of an office or i.t. environment, this equipment gets hot very quickly and when you bury it underground, that exascerbates that issue. if we need to underground this, it needs to be placed in a controlled environmental vault and that vault needs to be dry. that vault needs to be air conditioned and cooled and because this equipment requires access by our technicians, it needs to be safe. and we have to meet os hmp a standards t